Palmerston North Supreme Motor Lodge owner Steve Donnelly this week imposed a blanket ban on sports teams from Wainuiomata staying at his hotel, citing their repeated bad behaviour as the reason for making such a decision. See the report on Yahoo Xtra News or watch the YouTube Video
Wainuiomata High School’s sports teams and the town’s indoor sports club were accused of spitting, playing loud music at night, using obscene language and being unruly.
According to “The Age” Mr Donnelly said
“Sports teams from Wainuiomata High School and the town’s indoor sports club were accused of spitting, playing loud music at night, using obscene language and being unruly.
“Everyone there refuses to acknowledge the problem, and accuses the world of being out to get them. I’ve been there once … I was surrounded by graffiti, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to spend much time here.’ “
Mr Donnelly said teachers and parents repeatedly failed to keep their charges in check, letting them run wild in the motel’s facilities”
But rather than accepting responsibility for the actions of his students Wainuiomata High School principal Rob Mill told the Dominion Post that the motel manager Malcolm Glen was to blame.
“They are teenagers, so there is going to be some level of noise. The manager was quite unreasonable and actually quite aggressive.”
But sporting teams from other locations haven’t been banned, what’s so unique about Wainuiomata?
One has to ask why there isn’t better supervision of groups of unruly teenagers from Wainuiomata, who accepts responsibility for their actions?
Perhaps the statement made by MP Trevor Mallard, who was born and bred in Wainuiomata, gives us some clues to where the root of the problem lies:
“It’s stupid and very, very unfair. It shows the sort of blind prejudice I thought we didn’t have in New Zealand any more. I’m not surprised the (owner’s) Australian,” he told the paper”
Irony, on so many levels.
It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that patterns of behaviour that are allowed in childhood will continue into adulthood.
Pat Lam, coach of the Blue Super 14 Team, said at a conference that rugby players involved in violent off-field incidents are reflective of New Zealand society when he downplayed numerous incidents involving some members of his team.
“It’s not just our team, it’s society in general. There is not one sports team that hasn’t had an issue.”
“We have that culture right throughout New Zealand. The amount of murders we have, they get pushed and some people break – it’s not isolated to just our team, it’s society in general,”
But by failing to condemn unacceptable off-game behaviour both Mallard and Lam could be seen by some as implicitly supporting a culture where anyone except the perpetrator is seen as responsible for anti-social behaviour.
Who sets the example to young people these days and sets the boundaries.